Manga Review: Bakegyamon Volume Four

Bakegyamon Volume 4 has the story and art done by Mitsuhisa Tamura, and the original concept for the series came from Kazuhiro Fujita. Vizkids, an imprint of Viz Media, holds the North American rights to distribute the manga in the United States. This English adaptation, which is presented as an “unflipped” release, was done by Stan!, with a translation done by Labaaman, HC Language Solutions, Inc. This edition of the manga was published in 2009. Bakegyamon is rated “A,” which means it is suitable for readers of all ages.

Bakegyamon Volume 4
Written by: Mitsuhisa Tamura
Publisher: Shogakukan
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: October 6, 2009

Volume 4 begins with London starting into his next round. It turns out his opponent is Gen Ohkuma, an old friend of London’s who played music with him. This is followed by a battle between Yukinoshin and Shiori. Next, Sanshiro and Yukinoshin are set to do battle, and Yukinoshin helps Sanshiro understand one of his creatures (Enzan) better. After that battle is decided, this volume climaxes with revealing several hidden truths about the Bakegyamon game.

By the time you finish reading this volume, you can really sense that the story is quickly reaching its climax. For me, when I discovered one of the hidden truths while reading this volume, I thought to myself that perhaps I should have suspected something was off with this character a little sooner, especially since they just seemed to disappear after Volume 2. With some of the details that come out over the course of this manga volume, it helps to make this manga series to make a little more sense to the reader.

Once again, the art style is pretty consistent with the previous three volumes of Bakegyamon. There’s the usual “busy” panels earlier on in this volume; however, since the last third or so is exposition, the “busy” looking panels all but disappear.

This volume finally starts to give us a story that feels a little less “derivative” than the previous volumes in this manga series. Unfortunately, though, it feels like this change is “too little, too late.” By waiting to reveal as much as is revealed in this volume, it feels like Tamura was realizing he was getting near the end of the story, and needed to throw all of this information out there before concluding the series. If there had been some way to hint at more of this in earlier volumes, then it wouldn’t feel quite so rushed at this point. However, with the structure that Tamura used to tell the story, there probably wasn’t any real way to provide more hints in earlier volumes.

If you’re a manga reader who enjoys “fighting” manga titles like Pokemon Adventures and Yu-Gi-Oh!, you may also find enjoyment in reading the Bakegyamon manga series.

I wrote this review after checking out a copy of this manga volume through the King County Library System.

Additional posts about Bakegyamon:

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